Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
Danny Meyer (Harper Perennial)
One of our favorite books on running a small business, it is obviously good for anyone in the hospitality industry, but it is also a great guide to principles and practices that can remind anyone in sales. Very nicely done, with some interesting personal memoir included, by a renowned Manhattan restauranteur.
Encounters at the Counter: What Congregations Can Learn About Hospitality from Business
Alan Johnson (Pilgrim Press)
This isn’t, at first glance, a book about developing a Christian view of business or sales. It tells the story of a mainline denominational pastor who left his ministry to work for a while in a beloved local bakery. The book offers principles for local churches about what they can learn from successful, caring, retailers, but in the telling of his tale, anyone in business can certainly be inspired to serve customers well, to form community in the marketplace, and to offer great hospitality and customer service to a wide range of clients, who become friends. A lovely story, with much good insight, fro churches or retailers.
All Business Is Show Business
Scott McKain (Thomas Nelson)
The author believes that that goal of any business should be “to profitably create experiences so compelling to the customer that their loyalty becomes assured.” The purpose of this book, he says, “is to show you how its done.” By drawing on how God has wired people for encounter, for experience, for story and belonging, he helps retailers create emotional connections between customers and employees and design experiences that can astound and thrill customers. With many stories from many contemporary businesses, McKain helps retailers differentiate their organizations by creating ultimate customer service experiences. Provocative, fun, helpful.
Taking Your Soul to Work: Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace
R. Paul Stevens and Alvin Ung (Eerdmans)
Although this inspiring and challenging book was written for anyone in any career or workplace environment, it seems especially germane to those in sales, whose souls can be troubled by the daily experience of sales, worry about money, interacting with customers, and being tempted by any number of obvious frustrations. After a wonderful reminder of the seven deadly sins as evidences in the marketplace, this book invites us to take on the fruits of the Spirit in our work lives.
Cash Values: Money and the Erosion of Meaning in Today’s Society
Craig Gay (Eerdmans)
There are many books on fiances and money in light of Biblical teaching, but few that are so profound, balanced, deeply rich and worthy of prolonged consideration. Gay is an incisive evangelical critic of many modern ways, and helps us think about market forces in illuminating and serious ways. Does “the cash nexus” have the potential to lead to pernicious influences? Obviously, we need help with this, and Gay is a wise guide.
* These reviews are from a friend of Trinity, Byron Borger. Visit Hearts and Minds Books.